California College of the Arts

Located in the San Francisco Bay Area’s centre of technology and innovation, California College of the Arts (CCA) plays host to a world-class faculty of practising entrepreneurs and artists, along with a diverse community of makers with their bold reimagining of the world.

Anyone who studies at CCA becomes exposed to innovative programs with real-world applications, interdisciplinary opportunities, an inspiring studio culture, and a wonderful faculty. Whatever they do with their art in the future, whether it’s building the cities of tomorrow, producing animated movies, creating large-scale installations, or designing sustainable products, CCA is a great starting point for versatile makers and thinkers. Alumni have a wonderful reputation within their field and are trained in both traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge technologies.

A worldwide hub for social activism, sustainability, entrepreneurship, technology, and design, students in the San Francisco Bay Area become part of a collection of unique communities. The Bay is also known for its contemporary and vibrant art scene, which features over 250 venues, including renowned museums, alternative art spaces, and galleries.


The school was originally called School of the California Guild of Arts and Crafts when founded in 1907 in Berkeley by Frederick Meyer during the heyday of the Arts and Crafts movement. That movement began in Europe in the 19th century in response to the machine age’s industrial aesthetics. Those who believed in the movement favoured a more integrated approach when it came to art, craft, and design.

The Oakland campus was purchased in 1922 when Meyer acquired the James Treadwell estate. The school was renamed as California School of Arts and Crafts in only its second year before it settled on its current name in 1936.


Take your pick, from the broader studies of architecture or design, to more intricate works of jewellery making or even ceramics. If you are feeling artsy – so to speak – this is a wonderful place to set up your future career.

CCA has been a school of originality and ingenuity for over a century. With campuses in both Oakland and San Francisco, the college has close to 2,000 students currently enrolled. There are 22 undergraduate programs and 12 graduate programs in art, design, writing, and architecture. It confers BA, BFA, BArch, MA, MFA, MBA, MAAD, and MArch degrees. CCA is accredited by CIDA, NAAB, NASAD, and WASC.

Foundation Programme

The First Year Program helps students to build both communities and skills for success in the future. In their first year at CCA, students explore various approaches to creativity while developing the skills required to prepare them for their majors. The First Year Program Core Studio courses focus on effective communication and a critical exploration of ideas, visual literacy, work ethic, and craft, along with the importance of collaboration.

Through a combination of academic courses and studies, the program prepares students for the reality of building a creative practice while applying fundamental skills applicable to each of the college’s programs. Working closely with the Residential Life, Student Affairs, and Advising offices, the First Year Program, which is taught at the Oakland campus, offers guidance and structure to help students prepare for life at CCA.